Why have the Brexit fronts hardened?
London and the EU are at an impasse in the Brexit negotiations. At the summit in Salzburg the leaders of the other 27 member states rejected British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan. Commentators see the EU adopting an uncompromising stance - but not all of them want the two sides to reach an agreement.
We British must escape EU's cold grip
London must not give in, The Sun urges:
“All they have is the chance to punish us, and prove to the rest of the continent that it isn't worth leaving. The message they want to send? You won't get away with it. Well, Mrs May is right to say that we've nothing to be scared of. Yes, it is without doubt that we need to pick up the pace on preparations for a clean-break Brexit. It is vital we show the European Union, who still seem to think we'll roll over when it really matters, that we are ready for a new future free of their cold, dead hands.”
Macron wants to set an example
Emmanuel Macron is doing everything he can to ensure that the EU remains firm vis-à-vis London, according to La Repubblica:
“A meeting aimed at educating the 27. That, in short, is Macron's stance towards the British government. In the complex negotiations with the EU the French president immediately assumed made himself the spokesman of the most intransigent faction. ... 'You're either out or you're in', Macron repeats at every opportunity. Yesterday he was even more direct when he declared the plan presented by Theresa May at the Salzburg summit as 'unacceptable' and urged the EU not to make any compromises. An almost punitive stance that has a precise goal: to dismantle the propaganda of the nationalist movements that are toying with the idea of an exit from the EU.”
Peace is the main goal
In this complex situation both sides must keep sight of one goal, La Croix warns:
“There is one important reason why we should do our utmost to reach a satisfactory agreement with London. In a world that is rife with conflict, it is all the more important that the European continent should remain a continent of peace. That goes particularly for relations between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The successes chalked up there in terms of de-escalation over the past 20 years must not be in vain. Theresa May seems to have understood this, because she left Salzburg on Thursday with the announcement that her government would soon present the Europeans with a new proposal for the Irish border.”
Time running out for May
May's leeway is getting smaller by the day, editor-in-chief Màrius Carol notes in La Vanguardia:
“She doesn't have many more days to change her concepts because she needs to have a new plan ready by the end of October. The EU has started the countdown. The future of the United Kingdom is at stake because a no-deal exit would be a catastrophic, but the same can be said of May. Her former, anti-European foreign secretary Boris Johnson said farewell to the prime minister in London telling her that here plan was a suicide vest, with the trigger in the hands of the EU. With friends like that you don't need enemies.”